Someone I know is struggling at a “change point” in life, and feeling lost. This person feels as though so much of life has past and looking back causes a sense of having lost time as well. Moving forward feels painful. Not enough of the past was as productive as was hoped, and not knowing how to move forward is causing a feeling of losing time in the present. Considering the impact on others,makes moving in any direction complicated.
When I was at one of these points in life, several things would have been or were helpful. Knowing now that change points in life run the gambit from traumatic to exhilarating, I want to make a list of those helpful things, to share with this person, and hopefully with anyone else who is stuck at a change point. (Also, if there is someone out there who is counseling others, I hope that they will recognize these times in life as highly important to the person going through the process. I couldn't find a couselor who understood.) The decisions made during this struggle will affect the whole of the rest of anyone’s life. No one wants to look back in 20 years and feel like his/her mark on life was fruitless. Allow me please to direct this help information as if directed to “you.”
- Reaching out for support is probably the first step. No doubt, praying has already been a part of what brought you to the “change point” anyway. So, I am presuming that God is already a vital part of the process. Therefore, remind yourself that you are not going it alone. But then, reach out. Avoid “advice”
if the person thinks they have your solution. Don’t expect them to know what God has in mind for you. That is between you and God. Rather, ask for prayer and directional perspective. Something like: “do you have any general ideas of where to look for direction on life changes?” A question this specific will cause your advisor to think twice about what you really need from them.
If you pray before you approach them, that God will inspire them, God will use their clarity of mind, and distance from your circumstance to visualize your need without the clutter of your own dilemmas. God might give them some Holy Spirit inspired creative ideas to share with you. A book, a verse of scripture, a friend who just made the same change who is willing to give wisdom, names of schools, cities where you would fit, jobs which expand your present skills…on and on. In fact, you might give them a list of things on your mind, and ask them to consider if they might have some insights on any subject on the list.
When I reached out, I felt I needed to relive my situation to them, and then ask for help. There was no one prepared to help me. I never felt so alone. If you need to share by telling someone what in your past hurts, consider that the person you are telling might not have the skills to cope or help you. Be careful who you tell. Consider leaving out the details of the past.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10